Alaska’s health information exchange (HIE) – healtheConnect Alaska – has awarded a new contract with Alaska’s Department of Health to expand its HIE and data services across Alaska.
According to healtheConnect Alaska, the new contract will allow the HIE to continue its work across the state and reach more regions where access to quality care has been historically limited, such as underserved rural and urban Alaskan communities.
“We are proud to be an invaluable resource for so many Alaskan caregivers, and truly see ourselves as trusted representatives of the healthcare community,” said Dr. Gene Quinn, chair of the healtheConnect board. “Health information is essential to the high-quality and cost-effective care of Alaska’s patients, and this new contract reaffirms the state of Alaska’s confidence in healtheConnect to provide that critical infrastructure.”
The organization’s press release further explained that since 2009 healtheConnect Alaska has served healthcare providers and patient populations across Alaska by facilitating access to the secure data exchange of crucial healthcare information. The new contract was needed as the HIE recently has seen extensive growth, more than doubling its user base from 2021 to 2022. The number of participating organizations also increased by 40 percent in that time.
“Having access to healtheConnect has absolutely transformed the way we care for our members. This is an invaluable service to the people of Alaska,” said Mary Swain, executive director and CEO at Camai’i Community Health Center. “healtheConnect’s digital workflows and care coordination has enabled the modernization of our state’s healthcare system and provides patients with the care and services they need. Without it, we’d be lost – still relying on paper medical records and outdated workflows, like fax machines.”
Since 2021, healtheConnect has been an affiliate of CRISP Shared Services (CSS), a non-profit support organization that provides technology infrastructure and other core services to HIEs across the country. A press release notes that this partnership has helped the HIE greatly improve interoperability across Alaska.